Echium fastuosum from seed

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by chemicalx, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. chemicalx

    chemicalx Active Member

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    Location:
    Torrance, CA; USA
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    Have any of you grown Echium fastuosum (syn. Echium candicans) from seed? I couldn't find any of the plants for sale, so I resorted to buying seed, but I've never grown them before.

    I'm wondering what to expect: how easy are they to grow, how quickly do they develop, how long before it becomes a full sized, flowering plant?

    Thanks!
     
  2. hippofan

    hippofan Active Member

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    Location:
    Whidbey Island, WA, USA
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    I have grown several echiums from seed. They are very easy, and I don't have a greenhouse or special conditions here -- I grow everything on picnic tables, etc. in my driveway. In my area, Echium fastuosum is one of the echiums I can't get to live through the winter and bloom reliably. Some of the really big ones (boissieri, wildpretii, pininana, etc.) I have admired so much in pictures simply can't handle the short season/wet winter, at least in my yard. I can get them to germinate and grow into nice, big, hairy rosettes, but they never have time to bloom, darn it, and then the winter weather just turns them to gray shreds. In your area of California, you will have much better luck. I wait until late May or early June to plant my seeds in a compost-free seed starting mix I buy at the local feed store. If I can plant by mid-May, I will get blooms late the first year. If I wait until June, russicum, lusitanticum, amoenum, and others of the smaller variety will most often live through the winter, no problem, and then bloom the next year, a real treat. You will be able to plant earlier in your area. Keep them watered, in a nice, sunny spot, with good drainage, and they will get big fast. If I grow the BIG ones (hope springs eternal) I have to have them in 5 gallon pots by the end of August. When echiums flower, the bees adore them, and they are just gorgeous plants. I figure with the way things are going, I will be able to grow the big echiums one day, but for now I am thrilled just to be able to enjoy the smaller ones. This is probably more than you ever wanted to read in order to hear how easy echiums are to grow from seed... good luck!
     
  3. chemicalx

    chemicalx Active Member

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    Thanks for the info, hippofan - all very helpful! I have seen E. fastuosum growing beautifully locally, so I know they do great in this climate. Sounds like I should be able to sow the seeds by March, then. They have such gorgeous flowers, I'm glad to hear I won't have to wait too long to see them. :)
     
  4. dkwarta

    dkwarta Member

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    San Jose, Ca. USA
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    That's interesting. I planted a 5 gallon specimen about 4 years ago here in San Jose and it never flowered. I figured I had nothing to lose so I fertilized it with a little 15-15-15 and it died. It grew to be about 12' across so my neighbor was not sorry to see it go. I bought it in Santa Barbara where it is cooler during the Summer and they bloom beautifully down there.
     

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